Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Fitzroy Island?
Fitzroy island is located 29 kilometres south-east of Cairns, with transfers taking only 45 minutes by ferry.
Where do the ferries depart?
All ferries leave from Marlin Marina in Cairns. However there are three ferry companies, with different check-in locations. Please check your confirmation to make sure you get on the correct ferry.
Raging Thunder and Sunlover Reef Cruises passengers check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal 45 minutes prior to departure. The Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal is located at 1 Spence Street, which is a short walk from the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, and is situated on the right hand side of the Pier Market Place.
Fitzroy Flyer Ferry: Departs Cairns Marlin Marina. Check-in directly on board 30 minutes prior to departure. Walk down main A Finger Wharf in front of Reef Fleet Terminal and turn left at the end. A sign marks the Fitzroy Flyer departure point.
Do I need to pre-book my ferry?
Yes. In fact, there are many dates when the ferries are all fully booked. It is definitely important to pre-book especially on school holidays and weekends.
Can I book on the day?
Yes. It is possible to book on the day subject to availability.
How long does the Fitzroy Island ferry take?
A ferry ride from the Cairns Marina takes approximately 45 minutes. All ferries take about the same time.
Can I take small children on the ferry?
All ferries except the Thunderbolt are suitable for infants and children. Sunlover has the largest vessel but only has one departure time daily.
Can I take a Pram or Stroller on the ferry?
Yes, it is acceptable to take a pram or stroller on a ferry. It may need to be stored during transit if it is too large and takes up too much space.
Do I need to bring my own snorkel gear?
If you have snorkel gear, bring it along. However it is not necessary as you can add snorkel hire as part of your ferry package. Pre-booking snorkel hire and glass bottom boat tours as part of a package is better value and offers more inclusions. You can also hire it on the day on the island if you’re unsure.
What is the snorkelling like on the island?
Snorkelling in Welcome Bay and off Nudey Beach offers the chance to explore a fringing reef supporting many species of fish and invertebrates. If you’re adventurous we suggest the sea kayak tour, with a skilled guide, is the best way to access some of the more remote and beautiful fringing reefs systems. This needs to be pre-booked.
When is the best time to go to the Great Barrier Reef?
The Great Barrier Reef is beautiful all year round. The stinger season is from around November to May. It is unlikely that box jellyfish would be encountered at Fitzroy Island due to the 4 km passage between the island and the mainland, but they have been found there occasionally, as well as other stinging jellyfish. During this time it is recommended to wear a stinger suit. These are available on the island.
When is the best weather?
The weather in Cairns for most of the year is ideal. Clear skies, gentle winds and warm weather make your stay in Far North Queensland enjoyable. There are two seasons in North Queensland, the ‘wet’ and the ‘dry’ season. The wet season lasts from November to April, bringing heavy rainfall with some months having over 400 mm of rain and high humidity due to the tropical surroundings. The dry season that lasts from May to October is the most popular time of the year for visitors to the region. The average temperature throughout the year is between 19 to just over 30 degrees Celsius.
What do I need to bring?
Similar to visiting the beach, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing. The beach is made up of coral and it is a good idea to wear water sandals. There is a small shop and bar & grill on Fitzroy island. If you plan to hike to the lighthouse sneakers are a good idea.
Can I drink the water on Fitzroy Island?
Yes. The water on the island is drinkable, however, we do recommend that you bring your own water bottle. There are taps around the island to refill your water bottles.
Can we walk around the whole Island?
Fitzroy Island is a large island with rugged terrain and sometimes impenetrable vegetation. Walking tracks in the national park provide visitors with the opportunity to explore a range of vegetation communities and scenic landscapes. There are four walks available, from 25 mins return to 3 hrs return. Ensure to take water with you on any of the walks. There is not a track around the island.
When is Stinger Season and do I need to wear a stinger or lycra suit?
Irukandji, (‘stingers’) are small transparent jellyfish, one to two centimeters in diameter, usually never seen. Stingers occur more frequently in the warmer months. Whilst Fitzroy island is not known for stingers, they are present in Far Northern waters approximately November – May, so all guests are recommended to wear a full-body lycra suit. Lycra suits provide a good measure of protection against stingers and sunburn. These are available for hire on the island, or if you have confirmed an Activity Pass they are included in the package.
Are there luggage restrictions for the ferry?
Generally there are no restrictions, however, you must be able to load and off load your own items. Large items (such as kayaks) or excessive luggage or large eskies would require approval and additional fees may apply. Please contact us prior to travel in order to make the necessary arrangements.
Where can I store my luggage in Cairns while I am waiting for my ferry?
There is not a lot of options for luggage storage while waiting for your ferry, there are small paid lockers by the amenities block at the Lagoon.
Where can I store my luggage on Fitzroy Island while I am waiting?
Baggage Storage is available for resort guests plus changing rooms, showers, lockers and pool towels.
Can you do any Fishing on the Island?
Fitzroy Island and the surrounding marine waters are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Zones in the two marine parks—the Great Barrier Reef Coast and Great Barrier Reef provide a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use. Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.
Is there food available on the island?
Yes, meals and drinks are available at Foxy’s tavern at the southern end of the island, and there is also a small convenience store offering packaged food and drink. For resort guests Zephyr Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the Resort Pool Bar offers a range of cocktails, coffees and a light snacks.
Can I bring my own food?
Yes. You can bring your own food to the Island. If you are a resort guest staying in an Island suite, Welcome bay suite or 2 bedroom Island suite you will have a full sized fridge to store groceries from the mainland.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
No. Fitzroy Island Resort is a licensed premises and BYO alcohol is not permitted onto the island in any form. All alcohol brought onto the island will be held by the resort until day of departure.
Is Fitzroy Island wheelchair accessible?
Fitzroy Island Resort is wheelchair friendly and has several wheelchair accessible rooms. Access to the glass bottom boat can be difficult due to a coral-covered beach before you can enter the boat. Access to snorkelling can also be difficult as beach access is difficult due to the very steep incline. If you can negotiate these difficulties, the snorkelling is well worth your efforts! Foxy's Bar has limited wheelchair access ( one step up or down to the various sections of the bar), and there is no wheelchair-accessible toilet near the bar (however the resort buiilding has one in the reception area). There are no wheelchair-accessible tracks in the national park.
Can my teenager travel alone?
Fitzroy Flyer does not accept children or teenagers 17 years or younger travelling without adult supervision.
Raging Thunder Ferry does accept teenagers 16 years or older travelling without adult supervision.
Please book your ferry transfer with Raging Thunder if you are 16 or 17 years old. The students who book with Fitzroy Flyer will be turned back when they arrive on the island.
Are there any cars on the island?
There are a few work cars used by the island to transport baggage and food items from the jetty to the resort, but there are no sealed roads on the island.
If we are day visitors can we use resort facilities? No. Resort guests have exclusive use of the resort facilities including Zepher Restaurant, a large swimming pool and spa, a swim-up pool bar, tour desk, in room massage services, conference and meeting rooms, indoor and outdoor function space, a cinema, games room and kids playroom.
Is the beach sand or coral?
Welcome bay’s beach is covered with hard coral that has washed up onto the beach. It is fascinating to look at and chimes when walked over. We recommend wearing shoes on this beach. Nudey beach has more sand than coral.
How far is Nudey beach?
From Welcome Bay, walk south along the Nudey Beach Walking Track which can be accessed from behind the bar near Foxy’s. It is only a leisurely 15-minute walk, which winds through tropical rainforest and coastal woodlands before eventually opening up onto the stunning, award-winning white coral beach.
How far away from the ferry is the resort?
The resort reception is less than 50 metres away from the jetty where the ferry will arrive.
Can day guests visit the turtle rehabilitation centre?
Guided tours run Daily from 1.00pm and are 45 minutes in duration, with a maximum of 15 guests. The current cost in 2019/2020 is $11.50 Adult, $7.00 Child (4-13 years), infants free of charge.
Tours only can only be booked on the day: Day visitors please book the Turtle tour at the General Store (next to Foxy’ s Bar). Resort Guests please book the Turtle rehabilitation centre tour at the resort reception.
Can we leave on an earlier or later ferry?
Sunlover only has one ferry departure and it is not possible to change this ferry. However if you are confirmed with the Fitzroy Island Flyer or Raging Thunder you can request to change your ferry time, subject to availability.
Is there mobile phone reception on Fitzroy Island?
There is limited phone reception on the Island, the best reception is located at the end of the jetty
Is Fitzroy Island part of the Great Barrier Reef?
The Island is surrounded by fringing reef, which is the home to a variety of tropical fish and coral life. Fringing reef is a type of coral reef located only in the tropics, which is found directly off the shoreline growing in a thin strip. Fitzroy Island and its surrounding reef make up part of the Great Barrier Reef, a protected World Heritage Site, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Can we use the ocean trampoline?
The ocean trampoline is an exclusive bonus for tours booked with Raging Thunder.
Can I book scuba diving on the day? It is better to pre-book your scuba diving so that you don’t miss out. It is possible to book on the day at the Fitzroy Island Dive shop, subject to availability.